Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Least Favorite Summer Chore

Every summer I can tomatoes, and every summer I wonder 
why I can tomatoes.
It's not like I really enjoy doing it.  Dread is the word that most describes how I feel about canning.
And yet ~ I do it every year.
It is such a process - cleaning the jars and lids.
Putting the tomatoes through a hot water bath and then a cold water bath to loosen the skins.  Then packing the jars and finally putting them in the canner to boil for 55 minutes.
I have always found it never fails that canning needs to be done on the hottest days of summer.  Summer heat, plus all that boiling water leads to one hot kitchen.
I think I do it because I can't not do it.  Because my Mother did it and it is part of my growing up years.  Because it is providing for my family at the most basic level of living, taking nature's gifts from the ground to the table.
But at the end of the day, after all the work and all the sweating, there is the satisfaction of looking at the beautiful jars all lined up.
I usually leave the jars set on the kitchen counter top for a few days so I can enjoy their beauty before storing them away. I do love looking at them and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
And there is nothing like going to the pantry on a cold winter day and pulling out a jar of home-canned tomatoes to make a pot of chile or tortellini soup.


Sandy A said...

When I was young I helped our Mom every year can everything from our gardens. I loved it. All the colors and our Mom was in her glory canning all the vegetables and making jams. I did it when I first had a family and continued to make jams. But with our children all grown and gone, and my husband only eating tomatoes in Pizza sauce--I no longer can anything. Your post and photos brought back such warm memories of our Mom and me in the hot steamy kitchen (no A/C then)canning away and loving it. And as you said--all worth it when you use those flavorful tomatoes in the cold harsh winter...And when you are done with all that hot, steamy work, they do look so pretty on the counter waiting to be stored with all the other beautiful Mason jars in the pantry...

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

On these do look so good. Good for you, I don't can anymore, but I love to see others that still persevere. There is definitely nothing that tastes near as good.

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

My Mother can veggies too, but never taught me. I wished that she had. You are right, there is nothing better than having homegrown veggies in the winter, especially when it is from your garden.

Sally Somervill said...

Cindy - I wish you could see my face right now!! I'm green with envy! This is my dream. I did successfully grow cherry tomatoes this year for the first time ever. I'm planning on making a tomato basil salad, but your beautiful basket of big ripe tomatoes and then the sweet jars all lined day.

My Garden Diaries said...

Does it get any better than this!!?!?!?!?!? Your canned jars are gorgeous in every single way! Growing up Italian we have a "thing" for tomatoes as in we put them on everything and with all the information out there now about canned tomatoes from the supermarket not being good for you this makes what you have created just that much more awesome! I left the tomato growing for the most part to my pop this year but will be putting in more plants next year and then I will be emailing you about your process! Loved very inspiring as always friend! Great week to you! Nicole xoxo

June said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one Cindy! I love how you said "you can't NOT do it" LOL
I'm like you and love seeing the fruits of the labor though! Way to go girl!!!
hugs from here...

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